MA First State to Ban Flavored Tobacco Products, Including E-Cigs

On Nov. 27, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed historic legislation prohibiting the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including mint and menthol flavors, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco and cigars. The legislation additionally raises taxes on e-cigarettes and its associated devices to 75 percent of wholesale and increases access to cessation services. Massachusetts is the first state in the country to pass such comprehensive legislation.

The legislation's ban on flavored vaping products, increased retailer fines for sales to minors, and insurance mandates took effect immediately, and the prohibition of flavored tobacco will take effect on June 1, 2020.

Malissa Jane Wood, MD, FACC, governor of ACC's Massachusetts Chapter, issued the following statement on its passing after diligent efforts by the chapter to prioritize the issue: "For far too long, companies have targeted our youth by making it attractive to use nicotine with flavors and innovative devices. They are addicting the next generation. More than 3.6 million high school and middle school students used e-cigarettes last year—an increase of 1.5 million over the previous year—and public health authorities warn that these numbers likely have continued to rise. Comprehensive legislation like this one will help put a stop to this epidemic in the Commonwealth. ACC's Massachusetts Chapter thanks the Legislature and Governor Baker for passing this law. When paired with Tobacco 21 legislation that went into effect earlier this year, it will go a long way in protecting our state from the harmful effects of vaping and slowing the spread of cardiovascular disease from the use of e-cigarettes and other tobacco products."

Keywords: ACC Advocacy, Tobacco, Menthol, Electronic Cigarettes, Massachusetts

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